Aldon Smith: Just Enjoy This Stuff

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Aldon Smith: Just Enjoy This Stuff

SANTA CLARA -- His Twitter name is aldonsmithJETS. And it has nothing to do with the New York football team.JETS, he says, is an acronym for Just Enjoy This Stuff.The 49ers' rookie pass-rusher is certainly enjoying his first NFL season despite a Pro Bowl snub this week. Smith is a half-sack from the single-season rookie record, set by Tennessee's Jevon Kearse at 14.5 in 1999.
"I watched him (Kearse), admired him, but I never talked to him," Smith said Wednesday at his locker. "(We're) both athletic guys who know how to get to the passer."RELATED: Aldon Smith 2011 game logs
Smith's friend and locker neighbor Parys Haralson interjected, "That's what you consider yourself?""Yeah, pretty much," Smith responded, laughing.With 14 sacks, Smith, the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, has set the 49ers rookie record. It's the most sacks a 49ers player has recorded since Chris Doleman had 15 in 1998.Smith is closing out the regular season strong. He has 6.5 sacks in the past four games, beginning with a two-sack performance Dec. 4 against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park.RELATED: NFL sack leaders
Smith's first sack was one of his more impressive of the season. He bull-rushed eight-year veteran Adam Goldberg, knocking him straight back onto the ground en route to the quarterback. Smith is expecting bigger things on Sunday in the regular-season finale."I got to get more than two; got to improve every game," Smith said. "I think probably they know I'm coming, so I have to take advantage of the opportunities that I have."Smith has taken advantage of his opportunities at a high rate this season.He is listed as an outside linebacker, but he rarely played that position as a rookie. Instead, he has been used predominantly as a defensive end when the 49ers shift to a four-man line as part of their nickel pass defense.When asked what position he considers himself, Smith answered, "Outside linebacker-slash-defensive end."And that might be part of the reason Smith was not named to the NFC Pro Bowl team -- or as one of the 49ers' 10 alternates. His position is hard to define. Each of the defensive ends who made the NFC team have more sacks. And he really does not play outside linebacker.RELATED: Why Aldon smith got snubbed
Still, Smith should've been listed somewhere as an alternate. At 21, Smith should have plenty more opportunities for individual honors.
"I can't say I wasn't disappointed, but it's not a big deal," Smith said. "This isn't my last year of playing football."The Pro Bowl is voted on by fans, players and coaches.Smith is a leading candidate for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, along with Denver's Von Miller, who plays every down. The Associated Press polls media members on that award at the end of the season.

Injury report: 49ers DL Dial sits out practice with elbow

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USATSI

Injury report: 49ers DL Dial sits out practice with elbow

SANTA CLARA – Defensive lineman Quinton Dial was held out of practice Wednesday due to an elbow that places his availability in question for the 49ers’ game Sunday against the New York Jets.

Dial returned to action on Sunday against the Chicago Bears after missing the previous game with neck and knee issues. Newly acquired defensive lineman Chris Jones started the past two games in place of Dial.

Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch continues to be hobbled with a high-ankle sprain. He has missed the past five games with the injury. Lynch took part in limited practice on Wednesday

49ERS PARTICIPATION REPORT
Did not practice
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
Limited
DT Glenn Dorsey (knee)
RB Shaun Draughn (ribs)
LB Eli Harold (toe)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
Full participation
DT Ronald Blair (hamstring)
C Daniel Kilgore (hamstring)

JETS PARTICIPATION REPORT
Did not practice
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder)
C Nick Mangold (ankle)
WR Jalin Marshall (concussion)
LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle)
DT Steve McLendon (hamstring)
LB Julian Stanford (ankle)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)
DE Leonard Williams (illness)
Limited
RB Matt Forte (knee, foot)
S Calvin Pryor (concussion)
Full participation
WR Brandon Marshall (knee, foot)
CB Nick Marshall (ankle)
CB Marcus Williams (ankle)

Marshall: Fuzzy memory of first meeting with Ward due to painkillers

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AP

Marshall: Fuzzy memory of first meeting with Ward due to painkillers

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Brandon Marshall supplied 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward with the first learning experience of his NFL career early in his rookie season.

Ward has a vivid memory of the game – just his second in the NFL – and the three touchdowns passes Marshall caught on him to lead the Chicago Bears to a 28-20 victory over the 49ers in the first regular-season game played at Levi’s Stadium.

But Marshall, now a member of the New York Jets, admitted Wednesday to having a fuzzy recollection of that game due to painkillers he was prescribed in order to play in the game. Marshall, an 11-year NFL veteran, was in his third and final season with the Bears.

“Well, I don’t really remember much about that game because, uh, I worked really hard to get back from a high-ankle (sprain) . . . I don’t want to go there,” Marshall said, beginning to laugh on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

“I’ll say it: I took a couple pain pills, so . . . I took a couple of pain pills to mask the pain. I really wasn’t supposed to play. I came back from a high ankle, you know, within 10 days. I was supposed to be out four-to-six weeks. So I don’t remember much from that game. I just remember catching those balls. That was pretty much it.”

Marshall was listed as questionable for the game. On the day of the game, ESPN reported, citing a source, that there was a "75 percent" chance neither Marshall nor Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) would play. Both receivers played in the game.

Marshall had five receptions for 48 yards with touchdown catches of 17, 5 and 3 yards while being matched in the slot against Ward, the 49ers’ first-round pick in that year’s draft. That game served as a study guide for Ward.

“Yeah, I watched it a lot,” Ward said. “It was my welcome-to-the-NFL game. Just looking forward to going against Brandon Marshall for the second time in my career.”

Ward will undoubtedly see plenty of Marshall on Sunday when the 49ers face the Jets on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. Marshall may not remember much from facing Ward two seasons ago, but he said he has been impressed with what he sees on film.

“I think he’s really tough,” Marshall said. “He’s tough and he’s crafty and savvy. This is a guy that seems to really study the game and understands his opponent. If you go out there and give him the same release two or three times in a row, nine times out of 10, he’s going to get the best of you. We have to do a better job than him this week of studying film and trying to outwork him mentally.”

Marshall’s revelation that his memory of the 2014 game against the 49ers is clouded due to the use of painkillers comes at a time when Warriors coach Steve Kerr last week said on the Warriors Insider Podcast that he tried marijuana in hopes it would provide relief during the back issues that forced him to take a leave of absence of nearly four months.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr told CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole. “I’ve tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.”

When asked for his stance on whether the NFL should reconsider its position to include marijuana as a banned substance, Marshall received some direction from a Jets public-relations employee who could be heard in the background of the call saying that Marshall “knows better than that.”

But Marshall answered the question, saying that he wants to learn more about the subject.

“I do not have a stance on that," Marshall said. "That is something that I actually want to research more this offseason when I have time. I’m not a guy that knows about the benefits of what it can do for pain and other things. But I’d like to hear others’ opinions and really research the effects it can have on us -- positives and negatives.”